Correctional Officer Salary

Those pursuing careers as Correctional Officers in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $35K annually. Earnings sit near $25K on the lower side but can approach $57K per year on the higher side. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and tenure are driving factors as well. Male Correctional Officers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Correctional Officers. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$25,110 - $61,029

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$10.52 - $22.59

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$25,110 - $61,029  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,019  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,602 - $56,967  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,070
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.52 - $22.59  
   
Overtime
$14.70 - $39.22  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,019  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,602 - $56,967  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 730
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.

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Correctional Officer Tasks

  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer


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There are some Correctional Officers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Registered Nurses, where earnings are an average $55K annually. As Correctional Officers progress in their field, many go on to become Corrections Officers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $36K per year. Another common career choice for Correctional Officers is to move into a Security Officer role. Typically, Security Officers get paid $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer


Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, The GEO Group, Inc., and Dept. of Corrections are among the top companies that take on many Correctional Officers. NYSDocs attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $59K. Soaring salaries can also be found at Federal Bureau of Prisons, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Indiana Department of Corrections, where earnings of $48K, $41K, or $38K are standard for Correctional Officers.

Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Georgia Department of Corrections ($27K), Idaho Department of Corrections ($29K), and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) ($31K).

Popular Skills for Correctional Officer


Survey results imply that Correctional Officers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance and Transport are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Writing Procedures & Documentation. Security Policies and Procedures is a skill commonly found among those who know Oral / Verbal Communication.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Correctional Officers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $32K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $36K on average. Correctional Officers bring in $38K after working for 10 to 20 years. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $48K on average.

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 39%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 37%

Transport
up arrow 21%

People Management
up arrow 2%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

Security Policies and Procedures
0%

National Average
$34,000

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 257 votes.

Gender

Female
29 %
Male
71 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 62% employee benefits None: 10%
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